Stages of Career Development

Career development is a process that takes place over the life span and on the assumption that biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural factors influence career choice, changes, and withdrawal across the stages of development. All these are based on development theories.

The career life span is of three stages in an individual’s lifetime. They are..

– The fantasy state involves role playing and imagination.
– The tentative stage reflects a person’s growing awareness of interests and abilities.
– The realistic state entails the identification of a career choice.

Furthermore, the theory is identified four factors that shape an individual’s career decisions. The factors that have an impact on your development are as follows:

– Individual values.
– Emotional factors.
– Amount and kind of education.
– Effect of reality through environmental pressures.

Lifespan Theory

Lifespan theory is developmental and humanistic in nature has been extremely influential in the field.

Lifespan: Development is lifelong and occurs throughout five major life stages. They are infancy, childhood, student life, adulthood, old age and death. Each stage has a unique set of tasks and accounts for the changes and decisions that people make from work entry to retirement.

Life-space: People have skills and talents developed through different life roles, making them capable of a variety of tasks and numerous occupations.

Self-concept: Understanding one’s interests and skills is key to the right career choice and satisfaction. People seek career satisfaction through work roles in which they can express themselves and implement and develop their self-concepts.

Career Counseling

As the process unfolds, so does the client counselor relationship. The following five stages describe a general approach to the career counseling relationship:

– Dealing with change.
– Developing career focus.
– Exploring career options.
– Preparing for job research.
– Obtaining employment.

Like any counseling process that proposes stages of development, those described for the career counseling process also must be viewed as recursive. In each stage of career counseling, there are three areas of focus: exploration, task, and developmental outcomes relevant to the stage.

Dealing With Change: During this first stage, the counselor builds the relationship by providing unconditional positive regard, listening to the client’s expressed needs, exploring the personal emotional issues related to the process, and uncovering possible resistances to career exploration.

Developing Career Focus: When some of the outcomes of the first stage are achieved, the counselor begins to help the client develop career focus. The counselor guides the client in selecting and completing assessments and activities that help the client to pinpoint choices for career exploration.

Exploring Career Options: At the third stage, the counselor takes on the added role of educator and helps the client gain a realistic understanding of the tasks involved in career exploration. This includes personal instruction and directing clients to other resources such as books, websites, or job search groups and clubs.

Preparing for Job Search

While helping the client prepare to a job search, the career counselor continues in the role described in the third stage; however, it becomes important again for the counselor to support the client in interpreting career exploration experiences, gaining additional insight into his or her career identity, and fine-tuning career goals. The counselor also continues to provide practical assistance to develop the client’s job search skills. As well, the counselor begins to shift focus to necessary skills development that will aid the client in preparing for and obtaining employment.

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